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The House with Laughing Windows (1976)

Lino Capolicchio , Francesca Marciano , Pupi Avati  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Price: $44.45 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lino Capolicchio, Francesca Marciano, Gianni Cavina, Giulio Pizzirani, Bob Tonelli
  • Directors: Pupi Avati
  • Writers: Gianni Cavina, Pupi Avati, Antonio Avati, Maurizio Costanzo
  • Producers: Antonio Avati, Gianni Minervini
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008975Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,913 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The House with Laughing Windows" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Lobby card gallery
  • Behind-the-scenes

Editorial Reviews

A remote Italian village harbors unspeakable secrets, as young Stefano ("The Garden of the Finzi-Continis'" Lino Capolicchio) discovers when he arrives to restore a local church's decaying, painted fresco depicting the slaughter of St. Sebastian. Townspeople whisper that the original artist painted directly from real life, with models tortured and murdered all in the name of art. Suddenly a new, terrifying chain of murders begins, and Stefano finds himself caught in a chilling web of madness and unspeakable horror from which he may never escape! This exquisite masterpiece of Italian horror seethes with menacing atmosphere and diabolical plot twists guaranteed to haunt your dreams. Never before released in America, "The House with Laughing Windows" (La casa dalle finestre che ridono) is the crowning achievement of internationally hailed director Pupi Avati (The Story of Boys and Girls, Zeder) and has been restored to its full gothic glory from the original camera negative.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frightening, Highly Original Horror Masterpiece July 25, 2003
THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS (1976): Stefano (Lino Capolicchio), an art specialist, is hired by members of a rural Italian village to perform restoration work on a disturbingly violent fresco of Saint Sebastian painted on a decaying church wall. He meets and falls in love with a beautiful teacher, Francesca (Francesca Marciano), while staying for free in a house once owned by the sisters of the long dead artist. Stefano gradually learns that the painter and his sisters were monstrously depraved sadists who bloodily tortured people to death as inspiration for his horrific art. Various murders ensue and Stefano realizes that the killer is attempting to stop him from learning more of the village's secrets.
This shocker may be filled with lunatics, violent killings and an undeniably horrific climax, but it is filmed without any of the sleazy exploitation one might expect from the above synopsis. Pupi Avati directs the gruesome proceedings with masterful precision, utilizing a careful, leisurely pace in order to slowly build up a truly palpable sense of malice. While not failing to resort to some tried and true suspense techniques throughout, Avati finds it equally important to linger with moody, loving attention on the exceedingly desolate landscape surroundings and claustrophobic interiors. Cinematographer Pasquale Rachini's beautiful imagery creates a sure sense of place and atmosphere and helps make Stefano's growing feelings of isolation and dread all too real.
Lino Capolicchio plays Stefano with seriousness and intelligence, and his excellent performance is greatly responsible for the film's overall success; its impossible not to care about what happens to him in the film's disturbing, ambiguous finale.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I put this on at two in the morning after work one night and sat through it (and the subtitles) with nary a yawn... and was quite creeped out by the end credits. It has everything that makes a great giallo- intriguing camera shots, a plot that ravels itself back together in the last few minutes, picaresque locations populated by physically and emotionally twisted subcharacters (and I thought America had cornered the market on twisted rednecks- Get a load of the altar boy!). An artist on a restoration project begins recieving death threats and investigates further after a friend gets pushed from his window, leading to a reel tape of the artist (not a spoiler- it's in the opening credits) describing his flesh tortured in conjunction with his art (how pomo). Kudos to Image for releasing this film undubbed because you'd miss out on the eerie flavor of the phone calls and that reel tape - probably the creepiest tape used in a film after the opening credits of "Klute". On a technical note, remember to click in the subtitles option before viewing the film, and don't watch the making of until after the movie - it has spoilers. You may need to watch it after anyway, just to have a better transition to shutting off the t.v. in a dark house! So, overall, one of the more plot oriented giallos that still can carry itself into suspension of disbelief, and with very little lost relevancy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting gothic giallo December 6, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an original Italian piece. The story develops in a giallo format, but ends in a more gothic style. By the way, the end is a bit disappointing though. The movie is nicely shot on some Italian coutry location, the wideangle use of the camera is very well achieved. The digital transfer is very good, with vivid colors and a nice defintion. It comes with its original Italian sound and English subtitles. Overall, and considering the its price, an interesting title that mixes a giallo style story with some gothic touches, including the ending. Note, however, that this is not for those expecting lots of nudity and blood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From Pupi Avati... May 4, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"La casa dalle finestre che ridono" ("The House of the Laughing Windows") from 1976 and directed by Pupi Avati, was not in the same league as your basic giallo/horror film - it was better than most! Pupi Avati (" Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze" 1989, "Il cuore altrove" 2003) is basically a filmmaker of the art-house variety. And for that reason this film falls in between the two aforementioned categories (just like Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now" 1973, for that matter). It had a fine actor in Lino Capolicchio ("Il giardino dei finzi Contini" 1970) and Francesca Marciano ("Pasqualino settebellezze" 1975, she had a very brief acting career, but became an accomplished screenwriter "Io non ho paura" 2003). The cinematography alone sets this one apart from other gialli and the story was also very original and a shocking one at that! I am not going to get into the plot, as many reviewers have given exhaustive detail already. For the most part I am not a big fan of horror-films per se, but I am a fan of films that are intelligent and well-made (with the exception of the sex-comedies that I'm infatuated with), regardless of their genre. This film merited that distinction. And it really was a little frightening in places, but without the gimmicks and devices of the lowbrow-horror subgenre. If you like films that don't give everything away, and keep you in suspense til the very end, then this one is for you. The film has been beautifully restored for this DVD release by Image Entertainment, as part of their "EuroShock Collection". NTSC, Italian (Dolby 5.0, 5.1 Surround) the English subtitles were very easy to see and read (with extras) NR 106 mins.

Love and Peace,
Carlos Romero
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Italian Rarity
*Plot/ending analyzed*

This is a very good film directed by the man who also did "Zeder: Voices of the Dead". Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bartok Kinski
4.0 out of 5 stars The House That Screamed
A small Italian village is haunted by memories of a local artist whose fresco depicting the martyrdom of St. Sebastian reflects his morbid obsession with death and violence. Read more
Published on September 29, 2011 by B. Wells
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy Italian Movie with Style to Burn
I'm a big fan of Italian horror/giallo flicks and this one was low on my to-see list. I generally like the standard murder mystery giallo (a killer in black gloves, etc). Read more
Published on August 12, 2011 by J. Krall
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Avati's best, but good.
The House with the Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati, 1976)

The opening sequence of La Casa Dalle Finestre che Ridono, Pupi Avati's fifth film and the one that made him a... Read more
Published on December 23, 2010 by Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 stars House with Laughing Windows
The patrons of a small Italian church hire a talented artist to restore a fresco of their patron saint, but in doing so he also uncovers many of the town's dark secrets behind its... Read more
Published on September 20, 2010 by Carl Manes
3.0 out of 5 stars house with laughing windows
I swear and will always stand by it that when I was in Italy, i saw the actual house. The house and the area around it looked so much like in the film, it had to be, like wow. Read more
Published on July 25, 2010 by A. Szarka
4.0 out of 5 stars The House With Laughing Windows
The thing that works against a lot of foreign movies of this type is the background music. Music creates a mood and in this case, does not work to the movie's advantage. Read more
Published on October 1, 2009 by Beverly A. Roark
5.0 out of 5 stars "The House With Screaming Windows" Would Have Been A More Appropriate...
Before I review the actual film, allow me to say that Image did an excellent job of restoring "The House With Laughing Windows" or else they found an excellent print. Read more
Published on December 25, 2008 by J. B. Hoyos
4.0 out of 5 stars unusual italian horror/giallo mood movie
This movie is a great movie.
the acting is great and the story is well done.
I won't go into details as there are alot of other reviews that do that. Read more
Published on November 14, 2008 by Michael Dobey
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh Sisters, Where Art Thou?
Antonio, recently reacquainted with his friend Stefano who has come to renovate a fresco in the local church depicting the Martyrdom of St Sebastian, has discovered something he... Read more
Published on April 10, 2008 by GoldfishNation
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